First, allow me to say: Wow! The end of the month was rather unexpected.
Since I’ve only got a couple short stories up for sale online so far, I don’t tend to pay much attention to ebook sales (there are never that many). Consequently, while Kindleboards authors obsess over sales, I obsess over blog stats. Silly, I know, but that’s how it is. Up until the beginning of last week, my best month so far on the blog was a bit over 500 hits.
Just under 900 hits for the month. Wow. And it gets even better. Check out the weekly tally:
Now THAT’s a huge deviation from the norm so far! Daily stats for the month of July is just as telling:
So yeah. Very interesting end to the month. More hits, and more comments (great comments, btw) than ever before in my blogging career. 🙂 I hadn’t quite understood how that sort of thing could work. But after a day or so, the incoming links section of my blog stats started showing a lot of places I’d never seen before. Following them, I was stunned. All sorts of people were commenting on or linking to that one little post. That’s a pretty neat thing to discover. 🙂
Ok, enough navel gazing.
A blog post from Dean Wesley Smith and David Farland’s Daily Kick In The Pants newsletter from the other day have me thinking pretty hard about my publishing plans. I’ve written before how Kris Rusch’s news reporting on the latest goings-on in publishing makes me gulp and question the wisdom of even getting involved in the traditional publishing scene. And yet, she still endorses going both ways. Partly because of that, and because I can’t see how it would be a bad move if I’m careful in contract negotiations, I’ve been thinking to send my next book out to the publishers and see what happens.
And now that post and newsletter have me rethinking. Dean’s been on the indie publishing wagon for a while now, but he’s not come out so strongly for new authors to go that route exclusively before. David, on the other hand, has been a lot slower in changing his mind about it. Even just a few months ago, I recall interviews or posts from him that were leery of the whole indie/self-publishing thing. And now he says this:
Given all of this, the answer to the question is, “When does it make sense to publish with a conventional paper publisher?” The answer is, Never. Those days are gone. It would appear, right now, that the potential profit lines on a graph will diverge dramatically, and the longer you publish your book, the more you’ll regret going with a traditional publisher.
I did a double-take at that. Now David’s no dummy. But he strikes me as perhaps a bit more cautious than Dean is. But then I’ve never met either man in person. So all I have to go by are blog posts and newsletters, and I could be way off base in my assessment. But still, he’s a big name, and a fountain of wisdom. So to “hear” him come out and say that was eye-opening. Of course, that’s not all he said. He goes on to point out (rightly I think) the value of going with a publisher for long-term career considerations.
Now, to hear these two guys come out so emphatically this way, it makes me think maybe waiting a while before on the query-go-round might be the way to go.
I mean it makes sense. Just indie-publish, get a following, make some bucks. Then later, when things have settled out, parlay that into a contract if I want. I’ve thought that’s a good way to go for a while. That said, call me sick and twisted, but the query-go-round had some appeal too, if only for the challenge of it. Of course, this is business. The most important validation is the paycheck, after all. And there’s no denying that the margins are better in the indie world. On the other hand, traditional publishing means getting paid to advertise all your other titles, and there’s something to be said for that. Of course, getting screwed in a bad contract would basically nullify that advantage. That’s completely avoidable though, through good negotiation and a willingness to walk away. And I’d certainly be willing to walk away.
It’s a moot point now, with just the one novel finished. I’ve got some time to decide, still.
Any thoughts out there in internet-land?